Monday, August 31, 2009


It's awesome to hang out with cousins. A few weeks ago we overheard a conversation Zachary and CJ were having. Zach was showing off his new Transformer underwear to (the only person who might really be impressed) his cousin.

"I'm wearing my Bumblebee underwear right now because I peed in my Optimus Prime."

And CJ nodded with understanding.

See? They get each other.

Friday, August 28, 2009


Kaleidoscope is an imagination machine created and funded by Hallmark (headquartered in Kansas City) They know how to inspire a kid. Markers, glue, paper, ribbon, scissors, paint, melted crayons galore.
Our kids were wild and crazy in transit, but they sure did concentrate on their creations! They loved painting necklaces and crowns, and sending their artwork through the cool drying machine. I love the puzzle maker (I went to kaleidoscope as a kid and they had that machine 20 yrs ago!) You design a square piece of cardboard and then crank it through the puzzle cutter! Oh! It's magical! As is the dark room with black lights. Melted crayons and glowing clothes, really, it's hard to imagine an afternoon more fun. I loved watching their little faces hard at work. Lily painted and painted until she could paint no more. And Zachary loved building with the magnetic bolts. Bless those Hallmark people. The rooms are cheerful and interactive, there is fun music playing. The kids are encouraged to make and do whatever their hearts desire. And's all free!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Friday, August 21, 2009

Contentment is not the fulfillment of what you want, but the realization of how much you already have. -unknown

Poor guy doesn't even know he's got a pink paci.
And, he sucks his thumb which is the cutest thing.
I love him.
Yesterday while driving in the car, I was overcome with happiness.
I turned off the music and told my kids,
"Do you know that I am so happy to be your mother?
There is nothing else in this whole wide world I would rather be doing right now."
In the rear view mirror I saw Lily crack a sweet smile and
from the back I heard Zach say,
"Yeah mom, we know."
Speaking of utter contentment...
I love when David and I sit in the same room with our internetting delights.
From my computer there were friendly blogs mingled with music,
and a few favorite shopping spots.
I glanced over to his screen when I heard strange sounds.
You Tube had him entranced. He spent 42 minutes watching a big machine
dig out a lake on someones private property. The producer of the video (a farmer)
had set up a tripod and recorded (no edits mind you) the endless hours of his labor.
I think there were 6 parts.
When I teased him about it, he said, "well, you just spent 20 minutes looking
at about mind-numbing."
Secretly, I love that he watches those obscure videos that have only been viewed by
three other people (the farmer, his wife and maybe his curious neighbor).
Because I just know that our differences are what enrich each other's lives.
Someday my pillow search will beautify our space, and knowing my husband,
there will come a day when understanding how to dig a lake will come in handy.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Today I smelled the end of summer approaching. I know that sounds so strange, but these things have a particular fragrance. Maybe it is the vegetation, though still green, that is trying to say, "Hey, I'm about done here."
It is exciting to be back in Kansas City for fall and winter. (Although I'll keep eating watermelon as long as I can) Being home sure feels good. The seasons, the weather...I feel so comfortable and familiar with the patterns here.
We spent all morning at my favorite park. It is such a beautiful place with towering trees that's nestled right along the Missouri River. There are creeks and bridges and trails and benches in case you just want to sit and watch the magnificent river. There are tracks where a train steams by a few times an hour. There is a Bell Tower that plays it's melody and keeps the time at the college across the way. I taught my kids to listen to the loud deep bell and count to know what the time is. Of course we played on the equipment, but my favorite part was walking around. Picking up sticks, throwing rocks, that kind of stuff. We passed by the little practice fields and I told them that when I was young I used to play softball there. Unimpressed, Zach said, "What's softball!?" I explained it was like baseball but with a larger ball. That helped my coolness factor a bit. I just stared at the fields for a while, remembering how big time I felt with my uniform, cleats, and pink glove. I remember catching my first pop fly out in center field. The memory of that ball falling, falling, falling in slow motion (and being SO scared I would drop it) might have a permanent spot in my brain. I caught it. I felt awesome. So today it was kind of funny to me how rinky-dink the field looked to my adult eyes. Everything is so BIG-TIME when you're little. That is a wonderful aspect of childhood.
Three times in the last two days people have told me that my children are happy. One person said she couldn't imagine more happy children. Another said that she couldn't believe how friendly and social they were. And another remarked that they seemed so kind to each other and had great imaginations. And while none of those people were in the restaurant last night when two of my kids let out ear piercing screams and then proceeded to melt down...hearing those compliments delivered the same feelings I imagine the Nobel Prize might. Inner peace and satisfaction.
Their favorite thing to help me with...getting the mail. Of course they put their own spin on it.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


The sweet curly-haired girl is officially two! And what a LOVED girlie she is!
It was the details that got me. Because everywhere I looked I saw evidence of parents who put a lot of time and effort into making her day special and memorable. I think that's why I love the bits and pieces photos so's not just a mickey mouse shaped rice crispy's a mom's way of saying, "I love you".

Monday, August 10, 2009

A Progression

If someone told me four years ago that while looking at my dinner I would be awed by the beauty and be unable to take a bite until I had photographed my plate...well, I would have laughed. A hearty laugh.
In anticipation of my first child I bought two cameras. Disposable ones. Each with 24 exposures, and sadly, they lasted for my baby's ENTIRE first year. I get a little wistful thinking about all the pieces of life that my eye would see now. The pieces that would surely find their way onto my camera.
Often, I am too embarrassed to say that photography has become a hobby. I don't feel worthy. I am ultra-aware of my weaknesses and lack of knowledge. Sometimes I think of my friend Stacy. After watching her daughter take piano lessons for a few months, she decided that SHE would give it a try as well. As her teacher, I was astounded at how fast she progressed. How diligent and devoted she was. Watching her develop this new talent was so inspiring to me.
Now I take pictures. Or try to. And surprisingly what I like best about this new journey is not my growing pile of photographs. (Although a few years from now, I imagine they will be a treasure) What I appreciate the most is how my view of the world around me has changed, expanded. There is so much beauty. And somehow, it is simultaneously simple and complex.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


It was serendipitous. I found everyone napping - at the same time. I wondered the hallway like a lost freshman, unsure of what to do with my free time. Ignoring 6 loads of laundry on the bed I grabbed my camera and practiced shooting in manual. A sleeping subject is certainly easiest to photograph for a novice. No pressure to get it right the first time. :)
Craigslist delivered that little chandelier. The post said 'vintage Italian tole chandelier', and it didn't even bother me that it had a bad paint job (such a pity because look at how cute the original green would have been) or that the sticker clearly said 'Made in Kentucky' (ha!), because it was practically free.